Australia's prudential regulator launches inquiry into CBA

Australia's prudential regulator launches inquiry into CBA”

It was appropriate regulators undertook such inquiries rather than a royal commission which Labor proposed for the banking sector. A panel picked by APRA, working to a terms of reference yet to be finalised, is supposed to report within six months of commencing work.

The Commonwealth Bank's governance and accountability practices will be examined by an independent inquiry after a number of recent incidents have raised concerns around the banks' culture. Separately, treasurer Scott Morrison said further action is "in the wind".

Adding to its woes, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said Monday it will open an inquiry into governance, culture and accountability at the bank.

"This is a matter for the bank's board", Morrison told Sky News.

"CBA recognises that events over recent years have weakened the community's trust in us".

Mr Byres said trust in Australia's banks had been damaged over the past few years, and that CBA in particular has been affected by this growing negative sentiment. "However, beyond financial measures, it is also critical to the long-run health of the financial system that the Australian community has a high degree of confidence that banks and other financial institutions are well governed and prudently managed".

The bank, Australia's largest firm by market capitalisation, has been marred by a series of recent scandals over poor financial planning advice, insurance payouts and now allegations of money laundering. Given its position in the Australian financial system, it is critical that community trust is strengthened.

"The Chairman and CEO of the CBA have assured me that the bank will fully cooperate with the inquiry, and APRA welcomes that cooperation".

The CBA will meet the full cost of the inquiry.

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